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Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 14:04 GMT
Potter world book sales hit 250m
Harry Potter
The books have turned many children on to reading
Worldwide sales of the five Harry Potter books have reached the 250 million mark.

Author JK Rowling's agent, Christopher Little, confirmed the figure on Monday - and revealed Rowling had begun work on the sixth Potter adventure.

The series has been sold in more than 200 countries and translated into 60 languages from Hindi to Ancient Greek.

The fifth book, The Order of the Phoenix, sold 1.78 million copies on its first day in the UK alone.

Mr Little issued a statement via Potter publisher Bloomsbury saying the series had "entered the history books yet again" with a "record-breaking, unprecedented number of worldwide sales" of 250 million.

Teachers and publishers acknowledge that the Potter books have been instrumental in turning more children on to reading.

New generation

That success has been hailed in an age dominated by TV, cartoons and computer games.

"JK Rowling's books have paved the way for a new generation of exciting children's writers, causing a revolution in children's enthusiasm for reading," Mr Little said.

He said no date had been fixed for the release of the sixth instalment in the series.

Rowling, once a single mother who wrote her books in an Edinburgh cafe, is now a multi-millionaire ranked as the world's best paid author.

The Sunday Times put her earnings over the past year at 125m - the equivalent of 388 for every word of her most recent book.

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